August 3, 2011

Crisis of Infinite Reviews: Flashpoint Edition pt. 8

Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons #2
Writer: JT Krul
Artists: Fabrizio Florentino and Alejandro Gerardo
Cover Artists: Cliff Chiang and Jared Fletcher
Publisher: DC

Haley’s Circus is attempting to keep hidden from all of the chaos in the world. However, danger arrives in the form of the Amazons who are attempting to find the helm of Nabu, as they immediately begin killing others. After a couple of deaths rock this side of the world, Dick Grayson of this universe is left with no one but Deadman to cope with this dangerous new territory.
I have mixed feelings about this issue. On the one hand, I think it’s a fairly well done story with regards to Dick and Deadman. Having Dick’s parents being killed by the Amazons forcing him to realize that they can’t escape the violence, while predictable, is well done. The conversation between Dick’s father and Deadman about Deadman being a loner while Dick needs people in his life was a great summation of each character, as we’ve come to know them. Unfortunately, this issue makes the unnecessary attempt at being more important than it needs to be, incorporating the Amazons, the hunt for the helm, and the appearance of Starfire. I understand that the point was to make this book feel more important with regards to the the main Flashpoint story, but it almost felt like too much in this issue. The art in this book was pretty, but altogether fairly bad. It goes from being consistently inconsistent for most of the book, to overly gratuitous in other parts. While the covers have been absolutely amazing in this mini-series, the interior art hasn’t been able to maintain that level of greatness. 3/5 – AP

Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #2
Writer: Adam Schlagman
Artist: Cliff Richards
Cover Artist: Javier Mena Guerrero
Publisher: DC

Despite my best hopes, I didn’t find Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #2 to be much better than the lackluster first issue. The story staggers along and there are plot holes that are either egregious flubs in continuity, or there’s a better explanation of events somewhere else in the Flashpoint universe. The Ferris company now has alien tech that they’re attempting to meld with their own aeronautical machinery, but they don’t explain how the alien tech was acquired. Hal Jordan is flying around with Abin Sur. The film influence is heavy in design and character development. Overall, it’s just not sure what it wants to be or what it wants to do.
It seems obvious that there are other things being revealed in the other tie-in stories that are not being telegraphed or referenced back to in this one. My feeling is that you should be able to pick up any comic within the Flashpoint event and be able to figure out what’s going on. I just wish the Hal Jordan series of events would find some better direction. 2/5 – MB

Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost #2
Writer: Sterling Gates
Artists: Oliver Nome and Trevor Scott
Cover Artists: Francis Manapul and Brian Buccalleto
Publisher: DC

Back in his own time, Bart has never been more out of place. After breaking out of Brainiac’s lab and joining forces with Patty Spivot, Bart deduces that something had to have gone terribly wrong in the past (our present) for the future to have turned out so terribly. In order to get back to the past, Bart allows himself to get caught by Brainiac and uses his machine to access the Speed Force.
When Flashpoint started I was under the impression that Barry Allen was supposed to be the only one who knew that everything was wrong. From what I know, though, Bart, Patty, Dr. Fate, and Booster Gold are all aware that the world isn’t as it should be. That bit of weirdness aside, this was a good issue. The issue is fast paced with some great action. Gates really lets Bart shine in this issue, which is a nice touch. I think people tend to forget how smart Bart is, and in this issue he utilizes his intelligence as well as his super-fast thinking abilities to outwit Brainiac. I did find it a tad strange that we’re two issues in and Bart is still a thousand years away from where he should be. Gates does a great job of creating an emotional investment, given the limited time frame, and I can’t wait to see how Bart comes out of this mess. 3.5/5 – AP

Flashpoint: Legion of Doom #2
Writer: Adam Glass
Artist: Rodney Buchemi
Cover Artist: Miguel Sepulveda and Jose Villarrubia
Publisher: DC

Okay, if you’ve ever seen the HBO series OZ, then this is pretty much the same thing but with super powered individuals. The prison fights are brutal and plentiful, but what is the purpose of this series? I can’t see anything beyond the grudge that Heatwave has against Cyborg, and this attempted prison break.
Maybe if there was more history given about Heatwave’s hate towards Cyborg I could care about this a bit more. Nothing of any real consequence has happened, and even the “big moment” with Amazo really didn’t have any “pop” (pun intended) either. The two things that I did like were the artwork and the fact that Animal Man pretty much gets his butt kicked. Like so many other tie-ins to any big event going on, this one doesn’t seem to have a purpose. 2/5 – IS

Flashpoint: Lois Lane and the Resistance #2
Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Gianluca Gugliotta
Eddie Nunez, Sandra Hope, Hifi

All of a sudden this title went from Lois Lane and the Resistance to Grifter, A Bunch of Monsters, and A Reporter Named Lois. This issue does not star Lois Lane in the slightest. The entire thing is told from Grifter’s POV, which makes you wonder about the title. I don’t know much about Grifter, and if this is the character we’re getting in the new DC Universe, I probably will continue to not know much about Grifter. There was nothing special that made him stand out. He looks cool, but beyond that? I did like the scene when Grifter recounts his time in Afghanistan, before the events of Flashpoint. It was him, Lady Blackhawk, Sgt. Rock, John Stewart, Kate Kane (Batwoman), and a few other people, but it was neat to see how Lanning and Abnett utilized Stewart, Kane and the rest, given their military background. More of that story could have saved this issue, but it was only a couple of panels and all the characters ended up dying. So instead of John Stewart, Kate Kane, Lady Blackhawk and Sgt. Rock, we get the Canterbury Cricket, Etrigan, some Medusa like chick, and a female Mr. Hyde. Whoops! Speaking of those shitty characters, one of my comic pet peeves is when characters make a stupid quip before attacking someone or using their powers. Yeah, that happens a lot here. For instance, the Canterbury Cricket before attacking an Amazonian with his cricket chirp or whatever says, “That would be a terrible loss to the Cause! It’s enough to make you wanna scream!” and then he screams his cricket scream. So lame. And can I say I fucking hate reading Etrigan’s dialog. It’s so stupid. Especially when he says dumb shit like, “Excuse the smell of burning fur. I fear Cheetah’s lost her purr,” and, “By the bleeding of my gums…something female this way comes.” Seriously? Lets see, what happens that’s worth mentioning? Um…well…ah…oh! Hawkgirl dies. Yep. As for the artwork, Eddie Nunez was greatly missed. Gugliotta did alright, but it was pretty boring overall. What a downturn this series took from the first issue. 2/5 – AL

Flashpoint: The Outsider #2
James Robinson
Javi Fernandez
Kevin Nowlan
Publisher: DC

Someone wants the Outsider dead, and he’s going to find out who it is, even if it means committing atrocious acts to some of his own. Granted, one of those guys betrayed him, so he had his wife killed and children sold into slavery, then put a bullet in his head. Yeah, don’t F with the Outsider. We find out Black Adam’s role in Flashpoint, and based on how things go down here, we probably won’t be seeing much more of him. Although, if you’re a Martian Manhunter fan, be sure to pick up #3 to see what he has been up to. It’s going to be a good one. James Robinson is doing a good job with this mini, which is surprising considering I can’t stand his current work on Justice League of America. He has a tendency of getting overly wordy, but that doesn’t happen here. I think he writes solo characters better than team books. Just look at his Starman run. I like how the Outsider thinks and rationalizes out loud, always on the move, ready to make happen what’s best for him. It works, and I hope we get more of him once Flashpoint ends. 4/5 – AL

Flashpoint: Project Superman #2
Writer: Lowell Francis with Scott Snyder
Artist: Gene Ha
Cover Artist: Gene Ha
Publisher: DC

Kal, or Subject 1, was the baby that crash landed in last issue, and grew up pretty much under a microscope in captivity. Poked and prodded, and trained to use his powers as a weapon. Subject Zero is now a giant. He taught Kal to set them free. There was a fight. General Lane got himself and Subject Zero sucked into the Phantom Zone. Kal got put back in captivity under General Nathaniel Adam. General Adam isn’t as loving and fatherly to Kal as General Lane was. He means business. That business is turning Kal into a weapon to fight for “his country.”
This was complete garbage. Plain and simple. It is a shame, too, because Gene Ha’s art is good, but rarely used. When he does get used, it’s paired with a crap story. The world of Flashpoint was much better without a Superman. There is one more issue left. Thank God. I pray it saves itself. 1/5 – AW

Flashpoint: Wonder Woman and the Furies #2
Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Agustin Padilla
Scott Clark & Dave Beatty with Nei Ruffino

What the hell happened to this series? Like Lois Lane, it started out strongly and this second installment fizzled horribly. What happened to the art team of Ed Benes and Pete Pantazis? Benes I’d expect to bail after an issue or two, but what about the other guy? Their relief, Agustin Padilla, is definitely B squad and it shows. It looks like a rushed job with little detail and no attention paid to the environment…or anything, really. Part of the major pull for me with #1 was the art. It was hot! Not here though. Why is this becoming a trend for Flashpoint? DC, if you can’t get your artists to put out THREE freakin’ monthly issues on time, how is this new 52 going to go down? As for the story, it was ok. We get some minor details filled in, like how Aquaman got his scar, why Wonder Woman wears Mera’s helm, and we even see how Mera loses her head. Beyond that? Nothing really worth discussing happens. The Amazonians are treacherous, framing the Atlanteans in order to set off a war between the two peoples, blah, blah, blah. Honestly, I could care less about any of that stuff at this point. If the art stays the same for #3, skip this one and don’t look back. I gave #1 a 5/5, but this second issue is at the opposite end of the spectrum. What a disappointment. 1/5 – AL

Be sure to check out previous editions of Crisis of Infinite Reviews by clicking here!

Arnab Pradhan
Infinite Speech
Aron White
Mac Beauvais
Andy Liegl



  1. Andy and Aron I think you guys were a bit harsh on Project Superman. Lois Lane and the Resistance and Wonder Woman and the Furies. They were at least 3s.

  2. Really? I still have to read Superman, but I was so let down by Lois Lane and Wonder Woman. Their main pull for me was the artwork, and these #2’s just didn’t compare and that killed it for me.

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